Existing as neither triple-A or indie, Ninja Theory’s upcoming Hellblade has enjoyed a somewhat unconventional marketing campaign. Rather than showcasing its new IP via ostentatious trailers and appearances at press events, the British studio has instead rolled out intimate vignettes that offer up further insight into the mythic and personal story.
Centering around Senua, the flame-haired protagonist glimpsed in the trailers, Hellblade is a Celtic action adventure game with a refreshing twist: our protagonist will spend a vast chunk of the title battling mental illness. Ninja Theory’s decision to push psychosis into the crux of the story even earned the backing of the Wellcome Trust, a UK charity specializing in the field.
In the latest installment in the video series, the studio’s Tameem Antoniades recounts the inspirations behind Ninja Theory’s latest outing, and how Senua’s adventure is one we can all relate to on some level.
“[Hellblade] is based on an entirely different fantasy created by ordinary people all around us who have an extraordinary ability to see and hear things most of us cannot. Sometimes what they see and feel is beautiful, and sometimes it is devastatingly dark. Some have described it as a waking hell. The condition reveals the inherent power of our minds to create rich and vivid worlds. It is an ability we all have and we bear witness to its power every time we dream.”
As the creative minds behind Heavenly Sword, Enslaved and the rather divisive – but bloody excellent – DMC reboot, Ninja Theory has earned the benfit of the doubt with Hellblade, and considering that it incorporates elements from genre stalwarts such as Dark Souls, we have full confidence that it will be able to attract an audience of its own upon launch.
No word yet on a specific release window, though all signs point to Ninja Theory debuting Hellblade for PlayStation 4 at some point in 2016.